The wood in the trees re­vealed by clever craft

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENVIRONMENT - BRUCE BUL­LOCH For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion con­tact De­nis 06 322 1254 email jd­hock­, Rowan Dicks 0800 468 265 email;, or Mar­ius Dryfhout 323 4029 email MDryfhout@feild­

As far as re­new­able plantation forestry goes, New Zealand has the most nar­rowly based for­est industry in the world. Ninety per cent of it re­volves around ra­di­ata pine.

And while New Zealand may be good at grow­ing trees, we are not good at adding value to that wood.

One of the best ways of do­ing so is by con­vert­ing suit­able wood into good qual­ity fur­ni­ture. The Mid­dle Dis­tricts Farm Forestry As­so­ci­a­tion, one of 27 branches of the NZFFA, a net-

‘‘It is the en­thu­si­asm and the skill of the stu­dents that has been the most no­table fea­ture.’’ De­nis Hock­ing

work of tree grow­ers who prac­tice sus­tain­able land man­age­ment in ru­ral New Zealand, reck­ons we could fur­ther en­hance the value of the industry by sup­ply­ing a wider va­ri­ety of suit­able lo­cally grown and spe­cialty tim­bers.

Since 2010, the an­nual Manawatu–Whanganui Sec­ondary Schools Wood­skills com­pe­ti­tion has been geared to­wards en­cour­ag­ing just such an ap­proach.

Now in its sixth year, the com­pe­ti­tion pro­vides op­por­tu­ni­ties for young crafts men and women to show just how fine wood can be.

Or­gan­ised by Mid­dle Dis­tricts FFA and UCOL Fur­ni­ture De­sign and Con­struc­tion in con­junc­tion with the lo­cal Graph­ics and Tech­nol­ogy Teacher’s As­so­ci­a­tion, the Wood­skills com­pe­ti­tion has sup­port from a va­ri­ety of lo­cal busi­nesses, no­tably Smith-Pilling Rewinds.

Mid­dle Dis­tricts FFA pres­i­dent, De­nis Hock­ing is rapt with the con­tin­u­ing qual­ity of the en­tries.

‘‘The com­pe­ti­tion has fea­tured some won­der­ful tal­ent and helped cre­ate some su­perb fur­ni­ture pieces. But it is the en­thu­si­asm and the skill of the stu­dents that has been the most no­table fea­ture.’’

De­nis says work for this year’s com­pe­ti­tion can still be sub­mit­ted. Any sec­ondary school stu­dent with a wood­craft piece they would like to en­ter should con­tact his or her tech­ni­cal teacher, or one of the or­gan­is­ers.

Prize-giv­ing will take place in the Palmer­ston North City Li­brary on Thurs­day Oc­to­ber 29 at 5.30pm with Manawatu Dis­trict mayor Mar­garet Kou­velis. Open to the pub­lic, the event and light sup­per will fea­ture a demon­stra­tion dis­play of wood­skill work by UCOL Fur­ni­ture De­sign and Con­struc­tion stu­dents.

The en­tries will then re­main on dis­play for two weeks in City Li­brary’s Large Print area on the first floor.

Macro­carpa can be an at­trac­tive and pro­duc­tive plantation species with ex­cel­lent value-adding pos­si­bil­i­ties.

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